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Oklahoma City Thunder television play-by-play announcer ready for Christmas night opener

Brian Davis talks about his admiration for Oklahomans
by Bryan Painter Published: December 25, 2011
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Christmas Eve 2009 was a whiteout of a blur to many Oklahomans.

In Oklahoma City, for example, 13.5 inches of snow fell and winds gusted to more than 60 mph.

But for Brian Davis, who moved to the state in 2008, the day provided a clear image of the way challenges are approached in Oklahoma — together.

On Christmas night, the Oklahoma City Thunder opens the 2011-12 regular season against the Orlando Magic at Chesapeake Energy Arena. With that, Davis begins his fourth year as the Thunder's television play-by-play announcer. But before the action tipped-off he recently took some time to share how that perspective gained in a blizzard continues to reinforce itself.

Far too slick

By the time Davis had finished taping the team's weekly TV show, the 2009 Christmas Eve blizzard was in full force. He and others quickly realized no one could get from a nearby ramp, or from the access road to the main road. It was far too slick. And where it wasn't slick, the snow was very deep.

“We wound up with about 10 guys, rocking and pushing cars free and clearing the road up to the intersection for probably an hour and a half,” Davis said. “And we cleared that ramp. Then, all the way home, I saw people shoveling and pushing strangers out of difficulty, even a bus stuck at the railroad underpass on Western Avenue.

“It's like a lady told my wife, Judy: ‘People here are willing to roll up their sleeves to get something done. And if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and help, people will make a place for you.'”

That was reinforced during Game Six of the Thunder's first playoff series in 2010.

The game was in Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers had just scored on a tip-in. But there was a chance for the Thunder to run a play to win the game and push the series to the limit.

The shot was missed and the season was over.

How was such a moment handled? Together.

“I'm taking a moment to collect my thoughts, we're still on the air, now, and all of a sudden I realize people are applauding and cheering,” he said. “And it continues to build, into a standing ovation. Anywhere else, you'd hear some people booing, just out of frustration. Or maybe stunned silence. Not that night.

“Our fans gave our team this wonderful ‘thank you' for what it had accomplished, and for the great moments and joy we'd all experienced during the season. That was truly special.”

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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